Focusing on Common Core: Are States Pulling Away?

March 27, 2014 Margo Ensz

VariQuest is excited to begin a series of posts and resources pertaining to the Common Core State Standards accompanying our eGuide, "School Environment & the Common Core." 

map resized 600Over the last six months or so, the coverage of serious attempts to repeal Common Core State Standards in states has increased. We recognize that the majority of states and schools are retaining the Standards and working tirelessly to implement the new standards, and this brief coverage of efforts to repeal the Common Core is purely exploratory. 

Alabama

  • As recent as March 12, 2014, a state senator urged lawmakers to let school systems opt out of the education standards, called the "Opt Out" bill
  • A local newspaper in Alabama, the Dothan Eagle, reported that repealing the Common Core in their state could be costly, especially since "The Dothan City Schools has spent $1.3 million on math and reading textbooks aligned with Common Core"

Indiana

  • On February 28, 2014, the Indiana House of Representatives voted to repeal its 2010 adoption of the Common Core State Standards
  • "The bill sets a July 1 deadline for new standards to be adopted by the Indiana State Board of Education to replace Common Core. In 2013, the legislature approved a bill to 'pause' implementation of Common Core to allow time for a new review of the standards." ("Bill to void Common Core passes Indiana House")

Oklahoma

  • Oklahoma's battle to keep or repeal the Common Core State Standards is unique, as, one article states, "A glaring obstacle for those who oppose the Common Core in Oklahoma is the fact that the state’s Gov. Mary Fallin (R) is chairman of the National Governor’s Association, the group whose Center for Best Practices is one of the authors of the Common Core standards and owners of the copyright of the standards"

South Carolina

  • South Carolina is looking to compromise on a bill seeking to repeal the Common Core State Standards.
  • The proposal would keep the standards in place and review them no later than 2018. It also stipulates that standards coming from outside the state be approved by the General Assembly.

Tennessee

  • As of late January, lawmakers were "putting the final touches on legislation that would delay the implementation of Common Core education standards and the companion test in Tennessee, perhaps setting the stage for the type of fight playing out in statehouses across the country."
  • However, as of March 10, 2014, the amendment to repeal the Common Core standards in Tennessee was withdrawn

South Dakota

  •  The Argus Leader reports that, if passed, Senate Bill 129 "would replace the Common Core standards in math and language arts with standards written by South Dakota teachers and educators, require a comparison of Common Core standards and the standards the state used in years prior, and evaluate the cost of using a new Common Core-aligned assessment"
Why are states pulling away from the Common Core? US News suggests that implementation costs and the process training teachers could be a factor. A similar article reports that Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, as saying that "Common Core implementation is 'far worse' than the implementation of...Obamacare." 
We must remember that there are two sides to every debate, and hope that each stakeholder is seeking to further the best interest of students. 
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